Some more thoughts about location-awareness (of others) and position sharing
As Fabien points out, the MapQuest FindMe (integrated with AIM) is a clever service that allow users to use manual sharing of one's position. Which is one of the guidelines that would emerge from our CatchBob! experiments. Self-disclosing one's location seems to emerge as a good trend now, both in the real world of services and the academic world of research as in those papers:
- Nova, N., Girardin, F. & Dillenbourg, P.: ‘Location is not enough!’: an Empirical Study of Location-Awareness in Mobile Collaboration. Proceedings of the third IEEE International Workshop on Wireless and Mobile Technologies in Education, November 28-30, 2005, Tokushima, Japan, pp. 21-28, IEEE Press: Los Alamitos, California.
- Benford, S., Seagar, W., Flintham, M., Anastasi, R., Rowland, D., Humble, J., Stanton, D., Bowers, J., Tandavanitj, N., Adams, M., Farr, J. R., Oldroyd, A., and Sutton, J. (2004). The error of our ways: The experience of self-reported position in a location-based game. In Proceedings of the the 6th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing. (UbiComp 2004), pages 70–87, Nottingham.
Both paper advocate for self-disclosure of location. They rely on different approach to come up with this recommendation. Benford's paper has a qualitative approach and is more focused on users' thoughts. Whereas ours is more mixed-methods (quantitative methods dominant though), it proposed the same idea because of the underwhelming effects of automatic location-awareness on how people collaborate. Another paper for a conference about 'designing for collaboration' will deal with this issue.
I am still digging this issue of location-awareness on collaboration, working on both asynchronous location awareness and the importance of letting people express their own strategy.